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Serial Port
Posts: 15
Location: London
Views: 23,156
Message 1 of 12

Best Linux distro for X200?

I've been using Ubuntu for a while, mostly on a desktop PC but found today that WPA doesn't work when I installed v9.04 on an old laptop. I'm planning to revist Fedora (11) and Linux Mint (7).


Anyone got any recommendations on what works best on the X200?

Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Location: US
Views: 23,050
Message 2 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

I'm not sure which is the best.  But I'm running Fedora 11 x86_64 right now since I'm comfortable with it.  Almost everything works, and works well.  I have the P8600, 160GB Hitachi, 1GB RAM, Atheros (stock) wifi, Bluetooth, 5-in-1 media reader w/modem, Intel TurboMemory, 9-cell battery pack.  No fingerprint reader.



  • Xorg didn't even have to be configured.  It's even smart enough to know to load the Intel driver so you can use the Compiz effects.
  • The increase/decrease volume keys.
  • The function keys that don't depend on some Windows app or service are functional.
  • The page back/page forward keys work with most applications, except for Seamonkey.
  • Power management works, and you can pull data from the sensors with lm_sensors, however it runs a little bit hotter compared to when it did with Vista installed.
  • The webcam works perfectly.  I was surprised by that.


Buggy stuff:

  • The battery life is not as good.  I only get around 5 hours with heavy use.  I used to get at least one more hour under Vista.
  • Sleep and Hibernate.  It suspends and sleeps much more quickly than it did with Vista, however, sometimes you have to hit the Fn key a couple times because it will wake up and immediately go back to sleep/hibernate. 
  • The intel driver for xorg is not exactly perfect.  I've had it start drawing vertical lines all across the screen twice, and the only "fix" is to do a system halt.  Keep in mind this has been a very rare occurence.
  • X doesn't set up the middle-mouse button.  This fixes it:
  • Occasionally windows will only maximize 3/4s of the way in Gnome.  Usually a restart of the app fixes that.  It happened more frequently under Fedora 10, so I think it has to do with the intel driver.
  • Any flash is a little choppy sometimes, but I'm using the development version of Adobe Flash.

Doesn't work/untested:

  • Haven't tested the modem.
  • TurboMemory doesn't work.
  • Mute button doesn't work.
  • The app that parks the harddrive heads, well there's no equivalent under Linux yet.  I could be wrong. 
  • Basically any Fn key that had a Windows service or app doesn't really work, like the magnification on the spacebar.

I'm probably making it sound a lot worse than it is.  I'm really quite happy.  Fedora 11 is a big leap up from Fedora 10 and there's no way I'm putting Windows back on it.



Message Edited by escapenguin on 07-16-2009 01:40 AM
Serial Port
Posts: 15
Location: London
Views: 23,039
Message 3 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

Thanks for that. I hadn't realized that there was a linux section here. Meanwhile I discovered thinkwiki which has some useful info, but as far as I remember as much for Fedora as you've given here. Maybe you should post this there?



Fanfold Paper
Posts: 14
Location: Germany
Views: 22,712
Message 4 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

I am also using Fedora 11 (32 Bit) on my X200 and I am satisfied with it. My additional experiences:


  • Under normal working conditions (word processing, code writing, www) my X200 consumes between 12 and 18 Watts with compiz enabled and the screen at 1/3 brightness. This gives me around 6-7 hours battery life with the 9-cell. Under Vista I got 8-10 hours with similar settings (aero on, same brightness and usage).
  • With Fedora 11 my fn keys for sleep/hibernate work flawlessly without going to sleep right after wakeup.
  • Intel 5300 wifi, bluetooth and sd card reader work out of the box, the fingerprint reader is not working (I never really use it)
  • Had some issues with the intel video driver and the vertical lines with Fedora 10, never saw the lines with Fedora 11.
  • With acpi_osi="Linux" added to grub.conf the mute button also works, but sometimes you don't get the pretty OSD with the volume bar (e.g. with rythmbox open).
  • One thing really disturbs me: Using Vista, the system fan only spins up to about 1900rpm after long usage. It reaches the noisy 340rpm only under heavy cpu load and goes back instantly afer the cpu load is back to normal. Using Fedora, the fan spins up instantly to 1900rpm and after about 10 minutes of office use (www, thunderbird) it spins up to 3400rpm (louder than the 7200rpm hdd). The bad thing about this is that it never spins down to a lower level, even if you keep the system idle for several hours in a good cooled place.This makes the X200 really noisy under Fedora compared to Vista.

Besides these bugs, I still think it's a very good machine and it's fun working with it (I use it daily at college). I am mainly using Fedora for more than 5 months now, switched from Vista, which still extists on my hard drive but is only used for photo editing stuff.
Message Edited by skuggaleikir on 08-09-2009 12:30 PM
Lenovo ThinkPad X200 (7458-CTO) running Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 5
Location: USA
Views: 22,446
Message 5 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

Im using wpa2 in ubuntu 9.04 on my macbook, also worked in 8.10. Maybe its a driver issue? If you like ubuntu, 9.10 should be out in a month, try the beta. The extra keys also work,\. i dont know why they wouldnt in fedora, but im sure theres an easy fix for it. They generate acpi events.

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Location: Sucre
Views: 19,157
Message 6 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

This article might help you to decide what is the  best linux distro  for you

Serial Port
Posts: 15
Location: London
Views: 19,153
Message 7 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

There is difference between the best distro and the best distro FOR THE HARDWARE.


I never did put Ubuntu on my X200 and trying it is still on my TO DO list, but it would move up the list if Lenovo started supporting it. I will not now buy hardware that doesn't work FULLY with linux (and preferably Ubuntu), and I'd like my next laptop to be a Lenovo as I far prefer the keyboards.


My Asus 1000 EEE pc netbook went from working pretty well with linux (now Ubuntu 10.10) to working perfectly over the last couple of years. Wireless. Sleep. Bluetooth. Sound. etc. Everything now works.


More about that at (search on Lenovo and Asus)

Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Posts: 2,933
Location: US
Views: 19,151
Message 8 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

I used to run Ubuntu on an X200T till last month,the hardware is not supported by Lenovo officially, but i was satisfied with it over all
Posts: 7
Location: Deutschland
Views: 19,127
Message 9 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

i'm using linux mint which is based on ubuntu on my x200s and everything works just fine .. i had to make the trackpoint working but that was just adding some lines to a config file ...

i've deactivated the webcam, fingerprint scanner and bluetooth in the bios as i don't need them .. but everything else like wifi, wwan, ultrabase, fn-keys, volume buttons, etc. is working perfectly ...

Posts: 253
Location: france
Views: 18,144
Message 10 of 12

Re: Best Linux distro for X200?

> With acpi_osi="Linux" added to grub.conf the mute button also works, but sometimes you don't get the pretty OSD with the volume bar (e.g. with rythmbox open).

can you explain the purpose of this workaround ?

-- g470 s103t
Lenovo G470 | Model Name : 20078 | M fg Date: 11/03/23 | BIOS: 40CN23WW(V2.09) 06/20/2011 | CPU: i5-2410M | Linux version 3.3.4lenovog470+ (root@lap) (gcc version 4.6.3 (Debian 4.6.3-4) ) #8 SMP Tue May 1 10:23:48 CEST 2012

Lenovo S10-3t | Model Name : 0651 | Mfg Date: 2010/06/08
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